EU urged to follow US 'model' in combating forced labour #422


The EU has been warned that new draft legislation designed to halt forced labour is still insufficient to tackle the problem.

The European Commission was told that a “whole series” of other measures will be required to put pressure on China to end the forced labour of Uyghurs.

The comments were made by Chole Cranston, Business and Human Rights Manager at the UK-based Anti-Slavery International, who was speaking at a webinar on the issue.

She also warned that, contrary to addressing the issue, the EU could end up becoming a “dumping ground” for products made by Uyghurs.

The panel discussion, “Uyghur Forced Labour: Can the EU’s directive on corporate sustainability due diligence prevent it?”, examined measures being proposed and assessed their hoped effectiveness as well as possible pitfalls in ending the forced labour of Uyghurs in China.

The debate is timely not least as, in her State of the European Union address, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen promised to put forward a concrete proposal on forced labour.

Two experts and an MEP explored the scope for targeted legislation to end forced labour practices similar to the “Uyghur Forced Labour Prevention Act” in the U.S.

The focus, though, was on a legislative measure by the European Commission which, in February, released its proposal for a directive on corporate sustainability due diligence.

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